After dipping more than 100 points at midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) came roaring back this afternoon, finishing up 80 points to 15,040, or 0.5%, nearly 200 points above its low point for the day. There was no major news driving stocks higher this afternoon, though optimism about tomorrow's jobs report could have been one reason. The European Central Bank also kept in place its low interest rates, and left all other stimulative policies in place in a meeting today. Major European indexes, which closed before the jump in U.S. stocks, finished down 1% or more. The dollar also dropped significantly, falling 3% vs. the yen, as investors fear that a weak jobs report could lead to more stimulus.
The initial unemployment claims report was slightly better than expected, as 346,000 Americans filed for new unemployment benefits last week, 2,000 less than economists had predicted. Continuing unemployment claims were also 1% lower than expected, at 2.952 million. In tomorrow's jobs report, analysts are expecting an overall increase of 159,000 jobs, and 175,000 in the private sector. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.5%. Also today, several retailers reported same-store sales for May, indicating an overall positive trend for the sector and the economy.
5 Best Building Product Stocks To Watch Right Now: FireEye Inc (FEYE)
FireEye, Inc., incorporated on February 18, 2004, invented a purpose-built, virtual machine-based security platform that provides real-time protection to enterprises and governments worldwide against the next generation of cyber attacks. Its technology approach represents a paradigm shift from how information technology (IT) security has been conducted since the earliest days of the information technology industry. The FireEye platform provides real-time, dynamic threat protection without the use of signatures to protect an organization across the primary threat vectors, including Web, email, and files and across the different stages of an attack life cycle. The core of its purpose-built, virtual machine-based security platform is its virtual execution (MVX), engine, which identifies and protects against known and unknown threats that existing signature-based technologies are unable to detect. The new generation of cyber attacks on organizations, including large and small enterprises and governments worldwide, is characterized by an unprecedented escalation in the complexity and scale of advanced malware created by criminal organizations and nation-states. In January 2014, FireEye, Inc. announced that it had acquired Mandiant.
The Company provides a comprehensive platform that employs a virtualized execution engine and a cloud-based threat intelligence network that uniquely protects organizations from next-generation threats at all stages of the attack lifecycle and across all primary threat vectors, including Web, email and file systems. Its platform is delivered through a family of software-based appliances and includes its DTI cloud subscription as well as support and maintenance services. Its technology platform, built on its MVX engine, is able to identify and protect against known and unknown threats without relying on existing signature-based technologies employed by legacy IT security vendors and best-of-breed point solution vendors. FireEye has over 1,000 customers across more t! han 40 countries, including over one-third of the Fortune 100.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
The deal follows a recent acquisition by FireEye Inc. (FEYE) , which announced on Thursday it bought security firm Mandiant Corp. for $1 billion. Shares of FireEye rose more than 30% following that deal.
Best Companies To Own In Right Now: Gerdau SA (GGB)
Gerdau S.A. (Gerdau), incorporated on November 20, 1961, is a producer of long rolled steel. Gerdau operates steel mills that produce steel by direct iron-ore reduction (DRI) in blast furnaces and in electric arc furnaces (EAF). In Brazil, the Company operates four integrated steel mills, including its mill, Acominas mill, an integrated steel mill located in the state of Minas Gerais. It has a total of 60 steel producing units globally, including joint ventures and associate companies. The joint ventures include a unit located in the United States for the production of flat rolled steel and another unit in India. The associate companies are Aceros Corsa in Mexico; Corporacion Centroamericana del Acero in Guatemala, and Industrias Nacionales (INCA) in the Dominican Republic. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company also engages in other activities related to the production and sale of steel products, including reforestation, electric power generation projects; coking coal, iron ore and pig iron production, as well as fab shops and downstream operations. On August 12, 2010, Gerdau acquired the remaining 49.1% interest in the Cleary Holdings Corp. On October 21, 2010, Gerdau, through its wholly owned subsidiary Gerdau Ameristeel acquired TAMCO Steel.
Gerdau offers a range of steel products, which are manufactured according to a variety of customer specifications. Its product mix includes crude steel (slabs, blooms and billets) sold to rolling mills, finished products for the construction industry, such as rods and structural bars, finished products for industry, such as commercial rolled steel bars and machine wire and products for farming and agriculture, such as poles, smooth wire and barbed wire. The Company also produces specialty steel products utilizing technology and normally with a certain degree of customization for the manufacture of tools and machinery, chains, locks and springs, for the automotive and mechanical industries. As of December 31, 2010, the Company operat! ed 19 steel production units in the United States and Canada through its principal entity, Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation. Gerdau operates in four business segments: Brazil (Brazil Business Operation), includes Brazil�� operations, except specialty steel; North America (North America Business Operation), includes all North American operations, except Mexico and specialty steel; Latin America (Latin America Business Operation), includes all Latin American operations, except for Brazil, and Specialty Steel (Specialty Steel Business Operation), includes the specialty steel operations in Brazil, Spain and the United States.
Crude Steel (Billets, Blooms and Slabs)
Crude steel products include billets, blooms and slabs. Billets are bars from square sections of long steel that serve as inputs for the production of wire rod, rebars and merchant bars. They are the main product of the Acominas mill. Blooms are used to manufacture products, such as springs, forged parts, heavy structural shapes and seamless tubes. Slabs are used in the steel industry for the rolling of a range of flat rolled products. Slabs are mainly used to produce hot and cold rolled coils, heavy slabs and profiles. Crude steel products are produced using either the continuous casting or conventional process.
Common Long Rolled Products
Common long rolled products represent a major portion of the Company�� production. The Company�� main long rolled products include rebars, merchant bars and profiles, which are used mainly by the construction and manufacturing industries.
Drawn products include barbed and barbless fence wire, galvanized wire, fences, concrete reinforcing wire mesh, nails and clamps. These products are not exported and are sold to the manufacturing, construction and agricultural industries.
Specialty Steel Products
Gerdau produces specialty and stainless steel used in tools and machinery, chains, fasteners! , railroa! d spikes and special coil steel at its Acos Villares and Piratini units in Brazil, at Corporacion Sidenor units in Spain and at the MacSteel units in the United States. In the United States, Gerdau Ameristeel produces special sections, such as grader blades, smelter bars, light rails, super light I-beams, elevator guide rails and other products that are made on demand for the Company�� clients, which are mainly manufacturers. It is a joint venture with the Kalyani Group in India, in which Gerdau has a 73.2% interest in the joint venture.
Gerdau�� Acominas mill produces slabs, which are rolled into flat products, such as hot and cold steel coils, heavy plates and profiles. In addition, the Company�� distribution subsidiary, Comercial Gerdau, resells flat steel products manufactured by other Brazilian steel producers. Gerdau Ameristeel also supplies flat steel to its customers through its joint venture Gallatin located in Kentucky. Gallatin is a joint venture with ArcelorMittal, Canada, a flat steel producer, and has nominal installed capacity of 1.4 million tons of flat steel per year.
The Company competes with Commercial Metals Company, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc., ArcelorMittal Inc., ArcelorMittal Brasil, Usiminas Group and CSN.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Victor Selva] -largest producer in the sector.
Why Not No. 1?
Brazil-based Gerdau has three main advantages. Size ��though it�� a strong pro ��is not necessarily one of them. To start with, Gerdau is a highly integrated company, with annual iron ore production capacity totaling 11.5 million metric tons, enabling it to be over 80% and 40% self-sufficient in Brazil and the U.S., respectively, and thus hedging itself from volatility in raw material prices.
Second, the company has a relatively modern fleet of furnaces, mainly composed of electric arc furnaces (EAFs), which are more energy-efficient than traditional blast furnaces and should result on a more flexible supply.
Last, the location is also a positive factor: with a high geographical diversification, Gerdau has still managed to maintain a strong leadership in the markets where it operates (particularly in Brazil and the U.S.). This allows it, on the one hand, to supply many different markets and therefore reduce risks of local economic underperformances and, on the other hand, to profit from low-cost labor in Brazil. In addition, the upcoming sporting events ��2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics ��are expected to generate a strong inflow of investments in infrastructure in the country, with Gerdau as a potential beneficiary of this.
In spite of being the biggest worldwide, I believe that ArcelorMittal doesn�� count with these characteristics. Further, as players in the industry are so atomized, being the No. 1 producer implies having only 6% of the global market share, which doesn�� give ArcelorMittal a superior bargain power than its peers. And though it�� still a very diversified and vertically integrated group, its costs will tend to be higher than those of Gerdau, since its furnaces are primarily blast furnaces and its labor expenses are higher as the company is based in Europe.
US Steel will also have to deal with an old and inefficient fleet of furnaces, w
Best Companies To Own In Right Now: PBF Energy Inc (PBF)
PBF Energy Inc. (PBF Energy), incorporated on November 7, 2011, is an independent petroleum refiners and suppliers of unbranded transportation fuels, heating oils, petrochemical feedstocks, lubricants and other petroleum products in the United States. The Company produces a range of products at each of its refineries, including gasoline, ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), heating oil, jet fuel, lubricants, petrochemicals and asphalt. The Company sells its products throughout the Northeast and Midwest of the United States, as well as in other regions of the United States and Canada, and are able to ship products to other international destinations. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned and operated three domestic oil refineries and related assets. The Company's refineries have a combined processing capacity of approximately 540,000 thousand barrels per day. The Company's three refineries are located in Toledo, Ohio, Delaware City, Delaware and Paulsboro, New Jersey.
The Company's Midcontinent refinery at Toledo processes light, sweet crude, has a throughput capacity of 170,000 thousand barrels per day and a Nelson Complexity Index of 9.2. Toledo's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) based crude is delivered through pipelines, which originate in both Canada and the United States. The Company's East Coast refineries at Delaware City and Paulsboro have a combined refining capacity of 370,000 thousand barrels per day and Nelson Complexity Indices of 11.3 and 13.2, respectively. These refineries process medium and heavy and sour crudes.
Delaware City Refinery
The Delaware City refinery is located on a 5,000-acre site, with access to waterborne cargoes and a distribution network of pipelines, barges and tankers, truck and rail. Delaware City is a fully integrated operation, which receives crude through rail at the crude unloading facility, or ship or barge at its docks located on the Delaware River. The crude and other feedstocks are transported, through pipes, to a tank! farm where they are stored until processing. In addition, there is a 17-bay, 50,000 thousand barrels per day capacity truck loading rack located adjacent to the refinery and a 23-mile interstate pipeline that are used to distribute clean products.
The Delaware City refinery has a throughput capacity of 190,000 thousand barrels per day and a Nelson Complexity Index of 11.3. The Delaware City refinery processes a range of medium to heavy, sour crude oils. The refinery has conversion capacity with its 82,000 thousand barrels per day fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit, 47,000 thousand barrels per day fluid coking unit (FCU) and 18,000 thousand barrels per day hydro cracking unit with vacuum distillation. Hydrogen is provided through the refinery's steam methane reformer and continuous catalytic reformer. The Delaware City refinery has total storage capacity of approximately 10 million barrels.
Paulsboro has a throughput capacity of 180,000 thousand barrels per day and a Nelson Complexity Index of 13.2. The Paulsboro refinery is located on approximately 950 acres on the Delaware River in Paulsboro, New Jersey, just south of Philadelphia and approximately 30 miles away from Delaware City. Paulsboro receives crude and feedstocks through its marine terminal on the Delaware River. Paulsboro is one of two operating refineries on the East Coast with coking capacity, the other being Delaware City. Units at the Paulsboro refinery include crude distillation units, vacuum distillation units, an FCC unit, a delayed coking unit, a lube oil processing unit and a propane de-asphalting unit. The Paulsboro refinery processes a range of medium and heavy, sour crude oils. The Paulsboro refinery produces gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel and also manufactures Group I base oils or lubricants. In addition to its finished clean products slate, Paulsboro produces asphalt and petroleum coke. In addition, separate from the Company's agreement with Statoil the Company ha! s a long-! term contract with Saudi Aramco. The Paulsboro refinery has total storage capacity of approximately 7.5 million barrels. Of the total, approximately 2.1 million barrels are dedicated to crude oil storage with the remaining 5.4 million barrels allocated to finished products, intermediates and other products.
Toledo has a throughput capacity of approximately 170,000 thousand barrels per day and a Nelson Complexity Index of 9.2. Toledo processes a slate of light, sweet crudes from Canada, the Midcontinent, the Bakken region and the United States Gulf Coast. Toledo produces a high percentage of finished products, including gasoline and ULSD, in addition to a range of petrochemicals, including nonene, xylene, tetramer and toluene. The Toledo refinery is located on a 282-acre site near Toledo, Ohio, approximately 60 miles from Detroit. Units at the Toledo refinery include an FCC unit, a hydrocracker, an alkylation unit and a UDEX unit. Crude is delivered to the Toledo refinery through three primary pipelines: Enbridge from the north, Capline from the south and Mid-Valley from the south. Crude is also delivered to a nearby terminal by rail and from local sources by truck to a truck unloading facility within the refinery.
Toledo is connected through pipelines, to a distribution network throughout Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The finished products are transported on pipelines owned by Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. and Buckeye Partners.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Yesterday, refining stocks like Valero Energy (VLO), Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Tesoro (TSO) and�PBF Energy (PBF) got hammered after the U.S. government said it would allow two oil companies to export ultra-light crude oil for the first time.
- [By Aimee Duffy]
Texas and North Dakota have been making the news for the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to produce shale oil, and many think that applying those techniques in other states like California could drive production up even further.Foolish takeaway
That charts above directly impact our energy investments. For example, Valero (NYSE: VLO ) and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX ) are two refiners that have a strong presence on the Gulf Coast and can clearly benefit from buying less oil from expensive foreign sources, and they will be the first ones to check on if imports start to rise again. More Canadian crude flowing into the Midwest can mean great opportunities for refiners with operations in Toledo, like PBF Energy� (NYSE: PBF ) , provided Canadian crude stays cheap. Taking a look at the broader scope of the U.S. import story can help us better evaluate our energy investments, and prepare us for whatever energy trends the future holds.
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- [By Ben Levisohn]
Will the price of oil collapse this year? Investors are worried they will and that could push refiners like�Phillips 66 (PSX) and PBF Energy (PBF) higher.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Booming crude oil production from the Bakken play in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin plays in Texas is giving refiners a very strong position regarding the price they pay for domestic crude. Including transportation costs, refiners are paying an amount that meets or beats the price of imported Brent by enough to enable shipping the refined products to Europe and still make a profit. This is true both for primarily Gulf Coast refiners like Valero Corp. (NYSE: VLO) and Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) and East Coast refiners like PBF Energy Inc. (NYSE: PBF). Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) owns a refinery in New Jersey and three more along the Gulf Coast.
Best Companies To Own In Right Now: iShares International Select Dividend ETF (IDV)
iShares Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index Fund (the Fund) is an exchange-traded fund that seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index (the Index). The Index measures the performance of a selected group of equity securities issued by companies that have provided relatively high dividend yields on a consistent basis over time. The Index consists of 100 of the highest dividend-yielding securities (excluding real estate investment trusts (REITs)) in the Dow Jones World Developed-Ex. U.S. Index, an index representative of the Europe, Pacific, Asia and Canada (EPAC) regions, which covers developed markets, excluding the United States. To be included in the Index, the securities must have paid dividends in each of the previous three years; must have a previous year�� dividend per share, which is greater than or equal to its three year average dividend payout ratio; must have a five-year average dividend per share, which is less than or equal to 1.5 times the five-year average dividend payout ratio of the corresponding Dow Jones country index, and must have a minimum three-month average daily trading volume of $3,000,000 a day. The Index is reviewed annually.
The Fund invests in securities of companies that are located in or whose securities are principally traded in the markets of the EPAC regions. The Fund generally will invest at least 90% of its assets in component securities and in depositary receipts representing such securities. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its assets in certain futures, options and swap contracts, cash and cash equivalents, including money market mutual funds. The Fund will only concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent that its Index is so concentrated. The Fund�� investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors. The Fund�� index provider is Dow Jones & Company, Inc. The index provider determines the rel! ative weightings of the securities in the Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Index.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Selena Maranjian]
Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you'd like to add some international dividend-paying stocks to your portfolio but don't have the time or expertise to hand-pick a few, the iShares Dow Jones International Select Div ETF (NYSEMKT: IDV ) could save you a lot of trouble. Instead of trying to figure out which companies will perform best, you can use this ETF to invest in lots of them simultaneously.
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The iShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.50% -- and it recently yielded more than 5%!
This ETF has performed �well, outstripping the MSCI EAFE index over the past three and five years. As with most investments, of course, we can't expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.
- [By Jim Powell]
At the minimum, your family trust should hold the iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index (DVY). I also think you should consider the iShares International Select Dividend Fund (IDV) that invests in foreign companies with good payment histories.